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March 2017

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Beauty and the Beast!
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Beauty and the Beast!

  • By Adam Tyler Hughes
  • Photos Courtesy of Disney

It’s a tale as old as time. A beautiful woman falls in love with a man, who doesn’t know how to love properly. Yet, somehow, the woman is able to see something others cannot, that this man is more than a beastly exterior. Inside, in his heart, he’s someone who needs love, just like everyone else. And with her grace and wit, this woman is able to break through his rough skin and save him from a fate worse than death: spending eternity as a beast.

In recent years, Disney has reimagined classic tales (such as Cinderella and The Jungle Book) into live action tales. And, in true Disney fashion, the formerly animated worlds are brought to life with vivid detail making the stories we grew up with fresh again. The next one on the docket is the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. And as true as it can be, this remake is going to be the best one.

When remaking a classic movie such as this, every choice matters. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, the choice of Belle was high on the list of things not to get wrong. And that’s where Harry Potter’s Emma Watson came in. Long sought after for a number of roles, given her acting chops and grace, Watson was the perfect pick to play the Disney princess in the golden dress. Not to mention her beauty knows no bounds. Sounds like she was the perfect choice to play the ‘beauty’ of this love story. But there’s more to Watson than what she does on screen. She’s a renowned feminist, who works hard for equality and a world that every one can be part of. Seems a lot like the selfless Belle, who trades herself to save her father, to me. The exact kind of woman who could change a man or a beast for the best.

So, who joins her? Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens plays Belle’s embattled love interest, Prince Adam or, as he’s more prominently known, the Beast of the castle. After capturing Belle’s father, the Beast meets Belle and finds her to be the most captivating woman he’s ever seen. Captivating enough that he’d consider changing who he is for her, and for love. The Hobbit’s Luke Evans joins as Gaston, another suitor who desires to make Belle his own wife. A narcissistic hunter, Gaston is used to getting what he wants and not stopping until he does. Unlike the Beast, his love is about what’s on the outside. Thus proving, as Belle falls in love with the Beast, that love is really about what’s inside and the little changes, small to say the least, one is willing to make to fight for that love.

A star-studded cast rounds out our favorite not-so-inanimate objects. Ewan McGregor (American Pastoral) plays Lumière, the candelabra, Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games Series) plays the Cadenza, Ian McKellen (The X-Men Series) plays Cogsworth the clock, and Emma Thompson (Bridget Jones’ Baby) plays Mrs. Potts. Together, they’ll watch as Belle and the cursed prince go from barely even friends to Beauty and the Beast. I think it’s probably a stellar idea for you to join them as the story unfolds again. After all, the story of Belle and her beastly suitor is all but timeless, a true showcase of what it’s like to compromise for the one you love.

There’s always caution when it comes to remaking something like this. Audiences are often scared of the changes that might be made. After all, we’ve all loved Beauty and the Beast for a long time. Some of us have seen it so many times we can recite every line, every song lyric. But there’s something so enchanting about the idea to bring this world to life. There’s always a moment. In Cinderella, she lost her glass slipper. In Aladdin, they go on a magic carpet ride. And, in Beauty and the Beast, we get that ballroom dance and Belle’s iconic, golden dress. Something about seeing that scene come to life makes me giddy inside. And, might I add, that Watson’s voice is utterly fantastic? A tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast” hits theaters on March 17th.

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